Toparlaniyoruz Meeting Report – 5th September 2012 at Pia Bella, Girne

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

I have just returned from the meeting at the Pia Bella Girne of Toparlaniyoruz.

I was not very well attended as the photos show. It must have been very disappointing for Mr. Kudret Ozersay to have such a small turn out.

Mr Ozersay explained his plans and thinking behind this group and I have to say it sound very convincing in theory. In practice however, I do not see how it can work. To begin with without a political party prepared to pick up these policies and run with them, I personally do not see how any impact can be made.

In fact if you look at the Social Contract it is only how a decent and credible country should work and should be run. Does one really need to sign a contract to do the right thing?

Toparlaniyoruz has been in existence for 100 days, so far it is claimed that 4000 people have signed and I find this credible because people are desperate and doing the right thing seems alien under the present regime.

The Social Contract carries a powerful message for those disillusioned by the corruption, nepotism and cronyism that is almost a way of life here. Possibly not for those enjoying the benefits of the present system but certainly those of us who have suffered because of it.

All the inequities in the legal system were listed as were the two tier pricing system on just about everything including legal services where the foreigner ends up paying more than the local people. Property issues were touched upon.

The Social Contract lists all the points under three separate headings and you can read this for yourself by going to www.toparlaniyoruz.com.

The leaking of corrupt practices, political documents and wrong doing at the Girne Beledeysi were all mentioned, but other than naming and shaming, what has it achieved? Has anything significantly changed because of it? Mr Ozersay was keen to point out the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, although there was little sign of that when Geoff Day had his passport confiscated for 2 years and 3 months and although he was eventually acquitted, he had been a virtual prisoner during the time of his trial.

I was surprised that Mr Ozersay was unaware of the indignity of ex-pats under 60 years of age having to undergo an annual blood test and x ray, and of the false positives that caused such stress to some ex-pats.

I was equally surprised that Mr Ozersay was also unaware of the inequity of the transfer of title fee for first time purchasers whereby foreigners pay 6% but Turkish Cypriots pay 3% of the market of contract value, whichever is highest. I was also surprised when Pembe Ibrahim, who was sat at the table with the guests, did not intervene with her:

“LATEST GOVERNMENT NEWS…

After our last few close meetings with the Interior Ministry we have had some great positive news with regards to changes of laws where foreign nationals are concerned.

A group of us representing the Stop the Blackmail facebook group and Citizens Advice Cyprus attended a meeting with Government Officials and were told about the new changes they are awaiting to be passed through Government. Approx time span being between 3 to 5 month this is what we were told … So what are their new propsals …..

1) we were told that after consideration the once in a life time tranfer fee 3% which the rights were taken from all foreign nationals we be reinstated….So anyone wishing to transfer the price of the taxes on tranfer will be coming down !!! from now 6% to 3% Thank you government !

2) An amnesty will be out very shortly enabling people who have not registered their contracts with the Land Registry, which by law should be done within 28 days of the date of the contract, you will soon be able to stamp and now register you contracts of sale !

The government official from the Interior Ministry has said he will in future be working with us for the needs of property victims in North Cyprus…. WHAT A RESULT..”

Please keep watching this page for the latest updates WE WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED….”

This appeared on CAC FaceBook on the 19 July at 21.11, yet strangely it never ever appeared in any other publication. Also strangely when the fee was increased for foreigners, it was immediate, no 3 to 5 month wait.

Questions about citizenship were asked and answered and it was generally agreed that this too was unequal in the way it was given.

It was suggested that perhaps Toparlaniyoruz should not have such wide goals and perhaps initially have smaller targets, Human Rights being mentioned. Mr Ozersay whilst acknowledging Human Rights was an important issue, so was all the other targets described in the Social Contract.

Press freedom was discussed and Mr Ozersay said he could publish what he wanted to say, be interviewed and make TV appearances to get his points across. I pointed out that maybe as a former Government adviser and a Turkish Cypriot he was able to do these things, I on the other hand could not even get the right of reply when demands for my deportation were made and other insulting news printed about us.

I did mention that I would be fighting the Libel cases in court myself because I could not afford to pay an Advocate. Marion Stuart asked Mr Ozersay if he knew anyone who would do the legal work for me for nothing. A young man at the table, a volunteer and an Advocate, said he would and asked that I leave my contact details after the meeting, this I did. I will await his call.

One question in particular, that involving the Attorney General. Ms Ibrahim said she had a meeting with him and he expressed the view that there were not enough complaints. I then asked about my complaint of Criminal Conspiracy submitted on 6th April 2012. I was actually addressing Mr Ozersay but Ms Ibrahim, who does not act for me, told me that it was being amalgamated with other complaints from K5 members which, to my knowledge, if they exist, have not been submitted to the Attorney General.

I was not pleased to be told what was happening to my complaint by someone who has nothing to do with it, who has never acted for me, nor will she ever act for me. I consider it a gross violation of my Human Rights for such decisions to be taken for me. I consider it a gross invasion of my privacy for my private affairs to be discussed with Ms Ibrahim. Apart from the fact that the K5 keep telling everyone I am not part of them, why should a complaint submitted by me as an individual be arbitrarily delayed because Ms Ibrahim says so?

By this time Agile was champing at the bit and was quite angry with Ms Ibrahim’s assumption that she had the right to interfere in my complaint to the Attorney General and at his request I left the meeting which was breaking up anyway. I shook hands with the speaker, the legal member of the panel and Figen. Miss Ibrahim said something about looking forward to something to me, I told her I was looking forward to receiving my 200 lira, my fan and my table and left.

I will not be signing the Social Contract. I will however follow the progress of this group and wish them success.

Pauline Ann Read

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